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No assets- ex wants settlement

(13 Posts)
Craicvac Wed 01-Feb-17 20:35:55

Not for me, but my brother!

Brother and wife were married for 4 years, and separated last Easter. They had initially agreed to wait 2 years and do an uncontested divorce, but she has now served him with divorce papers and wants the following: All her legal fees paid, a lump payment, spousal support and a proportion of his pension.

For background, they married young and spent the first two years both working minimum wage jobs. The 3rd year he did a course to upskill, and for the last 7 months of their marriage he was in a job earning approx £28K (London weighting). During the time he was retraining, my parents loaned them £6K to pay for rent, which has not yet been repaid. They have no savings, and live in their overdraft. The only assets are the 2 cars, of which she has the much better one, and their wedding gifts, which he told her to keep all of. He continued paying their rent single handedly when she moved back with their parents, and she gave up a job she hated because she didn't want to stay in London, but is now working again. There is no pension, and he is on a temporary contract which ends in May and won't be extended (covering mat leave).

To me it seems crazy that she can ask for assets that don't exist and walk away from their joint debt, especially as there is no kids, and over the 4 years their earnings are comparable (although he will now out earn her unless she gets more qualifications).

Can anyone advise on what she may be entitled to, and any hints on how to deal with this without bankrupting them both and making lawyers that bit richer?

MrsBertBibby Wed 01-Feb-17 21:31:16

Is this based on her having ticked those boxes in the divorce petition?

MrsBertBibby Wed 01-Feb-17 21:34:20

Actually, forget it.

I don't see why this lawyer should bother helping out, given your attitude.

oleoleoleole Wed 01-Feb-17 21:46:31

Tell your brother not to panic. It's all standard. Once they get down to the nitty gritty as its a short marriage with no kids or assets it'll be a fairly straightforward divorce.

Craicvac Wed 01-Feb-17 21:52:11

Sorry, didn't mean to come across as having a bad attitude... for various reasons I haven't slept in 24 hours, so I'm maybe not as coherent as I should be....I certainly don't begrudge lawyers their earnings, but just don't understand how 2 people with twice as much debt as assets can benefit from anything other than a straight forward dissolution of the marriage? In cases with kids and property etc, I've often encouraged women on here to go for the SHL, but with no assets and no kids I don't see the benefit for anyone.
And yes, if I can persuade you to engage with me again, it has all been ticked on the divorce petition.

Letseatgrandma Wed 01-Feb-17 21:57:10

I don't see why this lawyer should bother helping out, given your attitude.

Attitude?!

HeddaGarbled Wed 01-Feb-17 21:57:45

I don't think she'll get any of that. My advice is for him to pay for a one off visit to a solicitor to find out whether he is likely to have to give her anything and the position re the overdraft.

I don't think she should be expected to pay anything back to your parents though. She hasn't got that kind of money and likely never will have. I'm sure they won't expect him to pay it back until he's earning enough to do so.

It's still an uncontested divorce, by the way unless he contests the divorce itself. What they are disagreeing about is the financial settlement. If they can't agree, they'll be expected to go through mediation which they will have to pay for. They'll have to wrangle about who pays for that. I suggest he does it as he's currently earning more and just to get it sorted rather than drag it all out. The sooner it's done, the sooner they can both move on.

Craicvac Wed 01-Feb-17 21:58:08

Thanks Ole, cross posted. Is this normal for the first bit? Is there still a way to do this and keep it civil, or is it inevitable that it has to be thrashed out in courts?

MycatsaPirate Wed 01-Feb-17 22:04:16

This is the most crazy thing I've ever heard. How can she expect all that when there is nothing to get?

She's clearly trying it on. Has she filled out the forms yet? There is the E11 (I think?) which is where you declare all marital assets and debts.

Anyone with half a brain knows that half of nothing is nothing. She can try but if she pushes to take it to Court to try and get something out of him then she could end up being liable for his costs too.

She's an adult with a capability of working. She hasn't given anything up to raise children. She is capable of having a career. She quite frankly is a gold digger.

Craicvac Wed 01-Feb-17 22:04:42

Thanks Hedda, I think he's pretty upset about the listed unreasonable behaviour, but had already decided he wouldn't contest it, so I guess mediation with regards to finances is the way forward. He is also willing to take on the entirety of the loan repayments to our parents, as they will need repaid. I guess he can use that as a negotiating point in mediation.

Everytimeref Wed 01-Feb-17 22:12:25

Short marriage. No childen. Any assets that are joint would be shared. Any assets brought to the by either party would remain with said party.
Sounds like she has ticked boxes so she could claim in future. Get your bo9ther to get a clean break deal as soon as possible.

mummymummums Wed 01-Feb-17 22:27:29

It's usually quite standard to tick all the boxes in the petition. It doesn't necessarily mean she's pursuing those claims. Whatever happens, and whether she pursues claims or not, your brother would be well advised to get an order dismissing future claims - hopefully she'll agree. Otherwise, she could pop up in the future to bring claims when they're more viable - e.g. If your brother had an inheritance.
He should speak to a lawyer.

mummymummums Wed 01-Feb-17 22:27:55

It's usually quite standard to tick all the boxes in the petition. It doesn't necessarily mean she's pursuing those claims. Whatever happens, and whether she pursues claims or not, your brother would be well advised to get an order dismissing future claims - hopefully she'll agree. Otherwise, she could pop up in the future to bring claims when they're more viable - e.g. If your brother had an inheritance.
He should speak to a lawyer.

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